Photo Gift Ideas

FIFTEEN!!!  We have fifteen days until Christmas! Can you believe it’s almost here? Are you feeling crunched for gift ideas? Do you have some gorgeous pictures you would love to use? I am here to help!  I have always been a fan of home made gifts, they are unique, sentimental, and usually are things you cannot just go buy at a store. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite photo gift ideas to share with you, so let’s get started!

All of the sites I’m going to share with you I found through Pinterest, gotta love that site! 

  

First up is The Frugal Girls Coasters I have seen this idea for years and have always wanted to give it a try just have never gotten around to it.  They appear to be super easy, inexpensive, adorable, and very useful! Take some of your favorite pictures from the year, have them printed, pick up some tiles from the hardware store, Mod Podge those bad boys and you’re done! Grandma will never get tired of having her grand babies sitting on her coffee table! 

  
Speaking of coffee table, how neat would it be to have these Photo Wooden Blocks from The Pinning Mama sitting on the coffee table each time you visited your parents?! I love this idea for so many reasons, it’s pretty child-proof being that it’s only wood and you can make as many or as few as you want.  Also very economical, these blocks could make gifts for several members of your family.  Grandma can place them on the coffee table, dad can take them to work to set on his desk (drill a few holes in the top and dad could use it as a pen holder!), could be a paper weight for the uncles at work, or even stacking block for the cousins in the family.  Get creative, paint them or stain them before adding your pictures. So many options! 

  
I have to include a Christmas decoration, check out these Birch Photo Ornaments from View From The Fridge ! My parents LOVE Christmas, to the point they have something like 30 Christmas trees they decorate each year! I know right!? They would love to get these rustic ornaments of the kiddos each year.  What a neat tradition it would be to include an ornament of the children each year with the grandparents gifts? I just may have to try that… Again, this is another easy and inexpensive gift idea.  And the neat thing about these ornaments, they don’t have to be just for Christmas. Think about taking a picture of your little one dirty (I mean really dirty, like mud all over their face) and then take a picture of them clean and looking all cute.  You could give this as a gift to be used as a dishwasher sign to tell if the dishes are clean or dirty. You can write with a sharpie “dirty” on the dirty side and “clean” on the clean side. Use a magnet to attach it to the dishwasher! 

  
Last, but certainly not least, is my personal favorite Mini Calendars from Its Always Autumn !!!! I just LOVE these. I always give calendars to our parents containing pictures of the kiddos throughout the year. Well this year, I’ve dropped the ball and haven’t ordered it. It’s so late now I worry about it getting here in time.  But thanks to Its Always Autumn, I’ve got an alternative! And I just love how cute they are.  I will definitely post my finished product when I’m done with these! Sorry, moms if y’all are reading this you know one of your gifts ūüėČ 

I hope that helps you finish your gift list, takes a little stress off your back, and helps you get creative. Pictures are so precious as they document our family memories, how awesome to share those memories with others through gifts! 
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!  

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Beautiful Fall Sunset

I absolutely love fall, pretty much everything about fall is amazing. ¬†Fall is full of football, cooler temps, gorgeous leaves, and beautiful sunsets. ¬†Photography and the “golden hour” (one hour just before sunset) go together like Oreos and milk! ¬†During the fall, that hour of light is even more precious, almost looks like God’s canvas! ¬†That “golden hour” of sunset offers the best lighting for backgrounds in photography. ¬†The sun is low enough in the skin that it doesn’t cast harsh shadows on your face, and the backlighting from the sun creeping through trees creates unique backgrounds for portraits. ¬†It really is my favorite time of the day to break out the camera!

 

Tonight I was walking through the house and noticed a warm, orange, glow on the walls. ¬†When I looked outside, I noticed one of the most gorgeous sunsets I have seen in a long time. ¬†I couldn’t resist breaking out the big camera. ¬†I’m glad I did, these images are going to make awesome computer backgrounds….maybe even a Facebook cover page!! ūüėČ

Halloween Photography Tips

Halloween Costume Pictures3

Halloween is such a fun time of the year. We get to dress up, walk the neighborhood, eat lots of candy, and stay up really late.  As parents Halloween also means our children dress up incredibly cute and we want tons of pictures! And those pictures are the last thing your child is interested in on Halloween night.
Here are some tips to make getting those adorable and memorable pictures a little easier:

  1. Take costume pictures prior to Halloween. I know this post comes only a few days before the big day, but there’s still time! Get the kids excited to “try on” their costume and take them in the backyard (or garage) to take a few pictures. ¬†Look for unique ways to incorporate their costume with the surroundings. Getting those costume pictures out of the way before Halloween will lessen the stress on the big day and you will have time to figure out any last minute costume details that may be needed.¬†Halloween Costume Pictures5
  2. Head out for trick or treating a little early. Not only will you “beat the rush” but you will also be starting the even during that beautiful “golden hour” for photography purposes. Just before the sun goes down there is a soft, warm, glow which makes beautiful pictures. Be sure to turn your flash off to keep that harsh light from taking away your warm glow!
  3. Details, details, details!¬†The costume and your child are adorable but what about the details? Some of my favorite pictures are those of the smaller details. ¬†Look at the costume, are there shiny buttons that caught your daughter’s eyes? What about cool badges or headgear that your son couldn’t wait to put on? Ask them what they like most about their costume and snap a few pictures of it. Remember you’re not only creating memories for you but for your children also!
  4. Different angles. It’s easy to snap pictures of our children from how we see it, but get down to their level. You will be amazed at the uniqueness of the picture when you are taking pictures of them straight on. ¬†Take a few of them from behind as they are walking up to ring the door bell. Let them walk ahead a little and get pictures of them holding hands with brother, dad, or a friend. Is there anywhere for you to stand on a step or curb? Shoot a few pictures down on them.Halloween Costume Picture
  5. Zoom in. Similar to the details, stand back from the child, zoom in on their face and get a few of those precious up close pictures.  By zooming in you can create a slight blurred background, even with a point and shoot camera.
  6. Getting ready. Is your four year old daughter struggling with her tights? What about your son, his ninja hat stuck on his face? Maybe you have a teenager that is struggling to get the “blood” to run just right down his face. Snap a few pictures of them getting ready for the big night. Include some of dad helping the fairy attach her wings. ¬†And be sure to have dad take some pictures of mom securing Leonardo’s shell with Velcro.
  7. Let the character within them out! Most likely your little one has been drooling over their costume.  Ask them to show you what that character does! Find out if they know how to fly like Peter Pan. Ok, really no, but maybe they can pretend, with both feet on the ground of course!Halloween Costume Pictures2
  8. PUT THE CAMERA AWAY!!!! I cannot say that enough. Take it from me speaking from experience, the camera will cause you to miss little moments and those will pass you by so quickly. ¬†Pictures are so important for preserving memories but creating those memories are most important. I promise if you head out for trick or treating during that “golden hour” you will get plenty of pictures to cherish. So once that sun has set do me, and your babies, a favor and put the camera away. ¬†Act like a kid with them, enjoy their Halloween with them, you will be glad you did!

A few Halloween pictures to try to capture:

  • Pumpkins- finding the perfect one, carving, the mess, cleanup, and the final product
  • The Halloween after party- the loot! Candy, candy everywhere!
  • Going through the candy- are my children the only ones that sort their candy?

Photographing children can be challenging, especially if they do not want to be photographed.  Here are a few tips for taking pictures of children:

  • Never say “cheese”- talk to them while you’re taking it but please don’t ask them to sit still, look at the camera, and say “cheese”. That will result in a fake smile that you will not be pleased with.
  • Try to stay at their level- it will not only ease their nerves but also creates adorable pictures.
  • If you are able to adjust your settings, set your shutter pretty fast. ¬†Or you can put it in sports setting. We know children never stop moving so having a fast shutter helps the picture from blurring.
  • If they are being difficult, let them lead. Making them feel important or needed will ease their stress. ¬†Ask them if the pictures are coming out ok while showing them a preview. ¬†Or tell them you don’t know how to pose them- what do they suggest? Still not working? Try daring them! My children don’t like being told they cannot¬†do something, so I tell them ” you can’t stand on that rock without falling” as soon as they get up there I snap away! When they fall off, I help them up of course, but then I show them a picture and say “man I guess I was wrong!” They love it!Halloween Costume Pictures4
  • Just keep snapping- thank you God for the world of digital. ¬†There are never too many images. ¬†You can always delete. Children are unpredictable, so snap now and delete later.
  • Have fun and laugh with them. I can almost promise you the pictures won’t go over like you intended but you can make the most of it if you just roll with it. ¬†Tell a stupid joke, make them laugh, let them make you laugh. Whatever you do, do not¬†stress. ¬†Stress shows on people, even children’s, faces and you will be really unhappy with those pictures plus it might ruin the evening!

Wow, that needed up being a lot longer than I intended. I hope it was helpful and hopefully will help you take some beautiful Halloween pictures to cherish.
Have fun with your family and happy Halloween!!